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St. Luke’s New Hospital Debuts
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer


            Curiosity motivated Lorraine Phillips to attend last weekend's open house at St. Luke's new hospital in Milford Township. She was impressed with the size of the private rooms, the facility's rustic feel and expansive green surroundings.

            "It's all very nice," said Phillips, a Richland Township resident. "But the quality of this facility will depend on the personnel. The most important issue is how the people who work here provide care to the patients."

            Approximately 3,500 people visited St. Luke's Upper Bucks Campus Pre-Opening celebration on Saturday, Nov. 16. Visitors crowded the halls as they toured the facility, located on a 38-parcel at the corner of Route 663 and Portzer Road.

            The $65 million, three-story facility covering 131,000 square feet – which broke ground in May of 2018 and remains on budget – is expected to open in December, according to Dennis Pfleiger, the president of St. Luke's University Health Network's Quakertown Campus. He said the work turned out better than he anticipated.

            "This is absolutely fantastic," Pfleiger said, standing inside a busy hospital lobby.

            The new hospital – which will open with 60 beds and could be expanded to 80 – will replace the network's current facility at 1021 Park Ave., in Quakertown, features the newest medical technology. According to Pfleiger, an air coil MRI machine, with a larger tube is the first of its kind on the east coast.

            "It's all pretty impressive," said Lale Byers, a Milford Township resident. "This should be great for the community."

            The first floor also includes a state of the art radiology lab and an emergency room with 16 individual units, four more than the current facility. The conversion of four flex bays could raise that number to 20, according to Judith Eichorn, a vascular technician. The ER – which has been deemed a Level 4 trauma center – will be equipped to care for people injured in traffic accidents as well as people who suffer a broken bone, according to Pfleiger. The new hospital has also been designated as a Center of Excellence in Hernia Surgery, according to St. Luke's website.

            "It looks like they'll be able to handle anything that comes through the door," said Donna Byers, Lale's wife.

            On the third floor, each of the 30 private patient rooms includes a 55-inch television, a pullout couch and a handicap accessible bathroom. Around the corner, in the intensive care unit, an expansive nurses' station faces multiple empty rooms with clear glass doors.

            The lobby, which includes a fire place, features blue and brown colors. The first floor's hallway walls include paintings of farm houses and other rustic scenes by local artists. Dr. Nicole Yoder, a vice president of medical affairs and the physician in charge of the hospital, explained the architectural decisions were designed to reduce the anxiety of patients and visitors. She said the design, which included construction the cafeteria adjacent to the lobby and placing the elevators to the patient rooms a few steps away from the front door, makes the new hospital relatively easy to navigate.

            "Everything is right off the lobby," Yoder said.

            According to Pfleiger, the current hospital in Quakertown will close and the new facility will open within four hours on the same day next month. He said a parade of ambulances will transport the patients approximately 1.5 miles to the new facility. Hospital officials have been working one the details of the move months, according to Yoder.

            "That's the toughest part," she said.

            According to Pfleiger, the Quakertown facility will be maintained as a behavioral health and outpatient center with 19 and 32 beds. He described the campus as a vital segment of the community.





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